FILIPINO boxers Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr. and Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo are up for mandatory World Boxing Council (WBC) fights, the boxing organization announced.
As per the WBC, through a Twitter post on Tuesday, Mr. Donaire (41-6), the reigning bantamweight champion, must defend his title against unbeaten interim champion and compatriot Reymart “Assassin” Gaballo while Mr. Magsayo (23-0) will be the mandatory opponent for featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. of the United States in his title defense.
When and where these fights will take place is still to be determined.
The Gaballo fight could well put on hold unification fights Mr. Donaire is angling for against World Boxing Organization (WBO) champ John Riel Casimero of the Philippines and World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titleholder Naoya Inoue.
Mr. Gaballo (24-0) threw his name in the title mix after defeating Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico in December 2020 by split decision to win the vacant WBC interim bantamweight title.
Mr. Magsayo, for his part, became the number one challenger for the featherweight title after knocking out Julio Ceja of Mexico in the 10th round of their clash last month in Las Vegas.
Bohol native Mr. Magsayo said that he has what it takes to go up against Mr. Russell (31-1), banking on his size and strength.
Mr. Russell has been WBC champ since 2015 and has had five successful title defenses since.
Other fights announced by the WBC include Eduardo Ramirez (Mexico) against Lerato Dlamini (South Africa) for the WBC featherweight final elimination and Joseph Diaz against Ryan Garcia in an all-American WBC lightweight interim championship battle. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo